October has many National Pet Holidays (which we will highlight individually throughout the month) and today we are going to feature Adopt-A-Dog Month!
Here are some great adoption tips from the ASPCA if you are interested in adding to your family!
Caring for a companion animal goes far beyond providing food, water and shelter. It takes research and careful planning to bring the right pet into your home, and to make sure your lifestyle is the right one for your pet. Read on for tips to prepare yourself, as well as your home, for a new furry friend.
Are You Ready to Adopt?When adopting, you are making a commitment to care for an animal for the rest of his life—that could mean 10 to 15 years for dogs and up to 20 years for cats. As you go through lifestyle changes such as moves, the birth of children and new jobs, your animal will remain a permanent part of your life. If circumstances change, will you still be able to care for your pet?
- Owning a dog or cat costs more than the initial adoption fee. Food, veterinary care, spaying or neutering and proper identification—that means a collar with tags and a more permanent form of ID such as microchipping—can add up.
- Time is also a factor. Dogs benefit from several hours of exercise and companionship every day. Cats are healthiest and happiest indoors and love to be treated to energetic play sessions. If your work demands that you travel often, or if you're out of the house most days and evenings, this may not be the right time to adopt.
Which Pet Is Right for You?Your personality and lifestyle, along with challenges such as space restrictions and amount of time spent at home, should be explored to determine what pet is right for your household. Research different breeds and ask shelter staffers for guidance—they're experts at making perfect matches!
- It is important to consider whether your children, along with your resident pets, are able to accommodate the addition of a cat or dog to your household.
If You’re Considering Adopting a Dog
Loyal and loving, dogs are social animals who thrive on being upstanding members of their families.
- If there are young children in your home, a puppy may not be your best bet. You may want to consider adopting a medium-sized dog over five months of age.
- It is a good idea to draw up a schedule of who in the family will help with the care of your new dog, including walking, playing, feeding and grooming.
- Don’t forget to have your new friend spayed or neutered.
Preparing Your Home for a New DogWhether it's tightly sealing your garbage cans or paying attention to dangerous decorations during the holidays, you'll need to make your home safe before adopting. That includes keeping toxic foods, pet-unfriendly plants and dangerous household items out of paw's reach. Here are some suggestions for preparing your home to welcome a new canine companion.
- Put a cozy bed for your pet in every room. Pets are much more likely to keep off of furniture if they have attractive alternatives.
- Avoid vertical blinds, pooling drapery, ornate tassels and long cords that can become strangulation hazards.
- It may be a good idea to roll up and store decorative rugs until your new dog is fully house-trained.
- Use dog crates and gates to confine your new dog when home alone until his house manners earn him unsupervised freedom.
- Provide plenty of “legal” things for your dog to chew. If he has attractive toys and bones of his own, he’ll be much less likely to gnaw on your things!
Ready to do this? Visit the Charlotte SPCA website for a list of adoption events going on this month! Can't adopt? Here's are ways to help spread awareness from Petfinder!
- Donate your Facebook status. Just paste this message into the “What’s on your mind?” box at the top of your page: “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! #savedogs Find yours at Petfinder.com
- Tweet “October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Save a life: Adopt a dog! #savedogs
- Contact your local shelter or rescue group (you can search for groups near you here) and ask if they have a donation wish list or other flyer they’d like to you to post around your office or neighborhood. They may be holding special events for Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month which you can help promote.
- Share an adoptable dog or a Petfinder dog-adoption Happy Tail on your blog, Facebook or Twitter page each day of the month.
- Sign up as a foster parent or shelter volunteer then tell your friends how great it is. Contact your local shelter or rescue group to find out how you can help.
- Add a Petfinder widget or banner to your Web site or blog.
- Write an op-ed about the importance of pet adoption for your local paper.
- Contact your local shelter or rescue group and offer to photograph their adoptable pets and upload the pics to Petfinder.
- Donate to your local shelter or rescue group or to the Petfinder.com Foundation in honor of Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month.
- Pass on an understanding of the importance of pet adoption to the next generation. Talk to your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and other up-and-comers about animal shelters and why Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, and pet adoption in general, is important.